Down Area Winter Football League round-up, March 12
Semi-final day in the Jigsaw Financial Billy Allen Memorial Shield saw Newtown Forest take on 3rd Bangor, with fierce rivals Greenwell Star and Brentwood fighting for a place in the final at the Bangor Fuels Arena on 28 March.
The first match saw Newtown Forest ease into the final with a comprehensive 6-2 scoreline, but in the second match, Brentwood put their indifferent league form to the side to push Greenwell all the way in a seven-goal thriller, losing 4-3. So it's Newtown Forest v Greenwell Star in the final and a cracking encounter hopefully on offer.
In the Premier Division, with Greenwell in cup action, Moat Park Rangers had the chance to further extend their lead at the top and they duly delivered in a 4-1 away win over 8th OB, to increase their lead at the top of the table to 10 points. Fourth-placed Comber YM travelled to West Winds pitches to face fierce rivals Comber Star in a Comber derby, and a good second half performance gave them the bragging rights in a 4-0 win. Highest scorers in the division were seventh placed Bangor Rangers III, who disposed of lowly Ravenhill YM III 6-1.
In Division 1, Agape continued their impressive unbeaten season with an emphatic 6-1 win over Abbey Villa III, but second-placed Clonduff were pushed all the way, as they narrowly overcame Bryansburn Rangers III 3-2. Third-placed Ballygowan lost two more points, as they were held to a 3-3 draw by Bangor YM III, needing two goals in the last 10 minutes to earn the point.
In Division 2A, Vision Athletic II beat North Down II 4-2, and in Division 2B, it was first v third, with Abbey Villa IV entertaining leaders Comber YM II,and they shared the points in a close, keenly-contested 0-0 draw.
In the Sittlington Cup, Carrowdore YM progressed to the next round, beating Bangor Swifts III 3-0 and in the Mervyn Bassett Reserve Team Cup, there was a surprise defeat for Clonduff II, as they lost 5-1 to Oakfield Breda II. In the Tommy Murphy Memorial Shield group matches, there were victories for Greenwell Star II, Queen's Grads IV, Corrymeela II and 3rd Bangor II.